Friday, December 26, 2008

Exhaustion: A Christmas Tradition

The Christmas season is a time of tradition for our family. Each Christmas eve we have dinner at my moms house. That dinner consists of Ham, baked beans, rice pudding, lutefisk ,
herring, cheese and cracker tray and glug. We exchange gifts with grandma and grandpa, make plans for a fishing trip to Canada in the spring, and generally laugh and make fools of ourselves. (We are brutal teases in our family so if your thin skinned you might want to stay in the kitchen- of course, if you do we will never let you live it down!)

After Grandmas house we go home to let the dogs out and then head for our Christmas eve service. Some light weights can't handle midnight worship- but this has been a family tradition for so long that my kids are tough and sleep deprived already! Folks arrive at the church they see the luminarias that have been painstakingly set out in front of the sanctuary. I was always told that this illumined the way into the church so that (symbolically) Jesus would know that, though we humans missed his first coming- we are ready for the return ( at least some of us are). I have found that it also points to the way into the church building for those who have had too much glug! (not recommended!)

For decades I would return home to put the kids to sleep and assemble toys that that lazy Santa was too 'busy" to assembly before hand. Part A to part B, this sticker here, that one there, and so on. By now I am usually so exhausted that I am slightly delusional. I lay down for what seems like 10 minutes and suddenly the sun is up and I am busy running around making breakfast.

I make bacon and pancakes- swedish pancakes- you know- REAL pancakes. Made from scratch, these bad boys are filled with fruit and whipped creme and covered with syrup. (I could give you the recipe- but I would have to kill you...) Anywho... about the time the bacon is catching fire- the kids arrive from their various places of sleep. We exchange presents and oooohh and awe at the appropriate moments. About this time the dogs begin to eat the wrapping paper that has completely filled the living room (about waist deep). Wading through this mess I head for the kitchen to find a garbage bag to put this stuff in- after all the dogs can't be expected to eat all of it!

A sweater, a couple ties, etc., and it is now a bit behind schedule for the Sirloin roast or Tenderloin that we through in. Asparagus, mashed potatoes, and cherry pie. MMMmmm. good! That smell is biscuits burning because we always forget them! Cleaning up the mess and it is about 6 pm. I am now exhausted and ready for bed. But instead I put my PJ's back on and eat more. When my arm finally gives out from lifting that beef sandwich I turn off the John Wayne movie I am watching and head for bed. An amazing time! a Great family tradition! A wonderful day!

Or is it punishment for something????????

Fasting -- Back To The Future

The Rediscovery of Water-Only Fasting
by Alan Goldhamer, D.C.

Although the notion of electing to go without food for prolonged periods of time to improve one's health has not been something commonly considered in recent times, fasting has a long and important history. In fact, fasting played a vitally large part in early human survival. Fortunately, this ancient knowledge is making a dramatic comeback and is beginning to transform the way modern healthcare providers view their responsibilities to patients.
Human beings have the capability to survive extended periods of fasting. This was certainly known in our hunter-gatherer days, since many humans were forced to live through periods when little or no food was available to them. However, since the advent of agriculture and increasing technological advancement, modern humans have largely lost their awareness of this powerful, innate capability.

For example, the 1937 edition of The New Standard Encyclopedia stated that for humans, “Generally death occurs after eight days of deprivation of food.” By 1956, this grim pronouncement inched somewhat closer to reality. That year’s edition of the American Peoples Encyclopedia stated that survival time in men during water-only fasting ranged from 17 to 76 days.

In actuality, the “authorities” writing in these encyclopedias had no idea what they were talking about—but their conclusions are consistent with what most people might think. However, if we go back in time to earlier writings, we see that more “primitive” cultures were often more aware of the extent of our fasting capability. In the Bible, for example, Moses, David, Jesus, and Elijah were said to have fasted for up to 40 days.

Physiological Benefits of Fasting

Fasting can be thought of as a period of profound rest, during which time your body is free to rapidly undertake a wide variety of beneficial physiological activities, some of which are described below.

1. Neuroadaptation

Fasting helps your taste sensors adapt to a low salt intake. By allowing your body to “neuroadapt” to low salt food, fasting rapidly facilitates the adoption of a health- promoting diet. This process of neuroadaptation appears to take place more rapidly during fasting than merely eating a low salt diet.

2. Enzymatic Recalibration

During fasting your body induces enzymatic changes that can affect numerous systems ranging from detoxification of endogenous and exogenous substances to the mobilization of fat, glycogen and protein reserves. These changes seem to persist after the fasting process, which may explain some of the dramatic clinical changes seen in patients after fasting.

3. Weight Loss

Although fasting is not generally recommended as a primary weight loss strategy, weight loss is a predictable consequence of fasting. Most people average a loss of approximately one pound per day over the course of a fast. (When weight loss is your primary concern, a health- promoting diet coupled with exercise is usually your best approach.)

4. Detoxification

Fasting is generally thought of as a tool to facilitate detoxification, promoting the mobilization and elimination of endogenous substances such as cholesterol and uric acid and exogenous substances such as dioxin, PCBs, and other toxic chemical residue.

5. Insulin Resistance

Fasting appears to have a profound effect on insulin resistance, which is thought to be intimately involved with diabetes and high blood pressure. When your body produces adequate insulin, but it is ineffective due to resistance at the cells in the liver and elsewhere, your blood sugar levels rise. This can lead to serious clinical consequences. Fortunately, after a period of fasting, this problem is often dramatically improved.

6. Naturesis

Water-only fasting induces a powerful naturetic effect, which allows the body to eliminate excess sodium and water from your body. This process allows for the resolution of chronic problems with edema and helps reduce the increased blood volume associated with high blood pressure.

7. Reducing Gut Leakage

When chronic inflammation involves the intestinal mucosa, a condition arises whereby small particles of incompletely digested foods can be absorbed into the blood stream. This introduction of foreign peptide molecules to the blood stream may stimulate an immunological cascade of effects collectively known as gut leakage. In genetically vulnerable individuals, gut leakage may be associated with the aggravation of numerous clinical entities including arthritis, colitis, asthma, allergies, and fatigue.

8. Sympathectonia

Hypersympathectonia (increased tone of the sympathetic nervous system) is thought to be associated with many problems ranging from digestive disturbances to anxiety disorders. Fasting appears to have a profound normalizing effect on the overall tone of the autonomic nervous system.

In all there are many mechanisms through which fasting may be having its profound effect. Further research into these and other areas should prove illuminating.

A Serendipitous Survival

In light of the clear misunderstanding of fasting by the medical profession, the unexpected, successful fasting experience of Henry Tanner, M.D., is truly remarkable. In 1877, Dr. Tanner was a respected, middle-aged physician living in Duluth, Minnesota. He had suffered for years with rheumatism and had consulted with seven fellow physicians, all of whom considered his case to be “hopeless.” He also suffered from asthma, which chronically disrupted his sleep. He spent his waking hours in constant pain.

Tanner had been taught in medical school that humans could live only ten days without food and in this knowledge he found solace. Not believing in suicide, he determined that he would simply starve himself to death. As he stated later, “Life to me under the circumstances was not worth living... and I had made up my mind to rest from physical suffering in the arms of death.” But fate had an agreeable surprise for Dr. Tanner. By unwittingly invoking a constellation of health-promoting responses associated with water-only fasting, he rapidly recovered.

By the fifth day of his fast, he was able to begin to sleep more peacefully. By the eleventh day, he reported feeling “as well as in my youthful days.” Fully expecting that by this point he should be near death, he asked a fellow physician, Dr. Moyer, to examine him. Not surprisingly, Dr. Moyer was amazed.

According to Tanner’s recollection, Moyer told him, “You ought to be at death's door, but you certainly look better than I ever saw you before.” Henry Tanner continued to fast, under Dr. Moyer’s supervision, for an additional 31 days, a total of 42 days in all.

When fellow physicians heard his story, which was sensationalized in the press, they responded with disbelief and intense criticism. Though widely rebuked as a fraud, Tanner at least had the last laugh. After his fast, Tanner had no symptoms of asthma, rheumatism, or chronic pain and lived a full life until he died at the age of ninety.

Human Fasting Capabilities

Many fasts of longer than 100 days have been documented in recent scientific literature, the longest of which was 368 days. At the TrueNorth Health Center in California, we routinely supervise water-only fasts of up to 40 days — and in certain circumstances, even longer.

In our experience, fasting has never been lethal and is often remarkably helpful. During our 20 years of supervising the care of more than 5,000 patients, fasting has proven to be both safe and effective. It has provided many patients a new lease on life.

Reawakening to an Ancient Truth

Throughout most of the 20th century, which witnessed a period of remarkable medical innovation in surgical techniques, radiation therapies, and new “miracle” drugs, the self-healing mechanisms that are unleashed during water-only fasting were largely unappreciated. However, as the century drew to a close, something extraordinary began to occur. After decades of collective awe of modern medicine and its purveyors, a strong undercurrent of disillusionment began to appear. There came the beginnings of a philosophical revolution that would lead health science in a promising new direction.

This new direction centers on the realization that health and healing are best supported when the biological roots of our nature are understood and respected. This new philosophical approach is based on the awareness that health and healing are natural processes. As a result, the focus of attention has increasingly shifted away from the traditional medical emphasis on drugs and surgery toward an exploration of the circumstances and requirements necessary to unleash and enhance these natural processes.

Fortunately, unlike health problems in the past—including such phenomena as water-born diseases, nutritional deficiencies, and epidemics of tuberculosis and pneumonia that at one time were confusing puzzles - our present day epidemics of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer are not nearly so mysterious. It is becoming increasingly clear that the majority of present day health problems are the result of modern dietary excesses.

Simply put, most of our health problems are the result of our eating too much of the wrong things. We ingest too much fat and protein (especially animal fat and animal protein); too much refined sugar and other refined carbohydrates; and too many drugs, including tobacco, coffee, tea, alcohol, and soda. It is not surprising that nearly 50% of American teenagers are overweight when you consider that the average teenager consumes 25% of his or her calories from soda pop.

In the face of the current unprecedented epidemics of disease caused by dietary excess, it is understandable that the ancient healing method of water-only fasting is beginning to make intuitive sense to many people. Going without food for a period of time provides the ultimate opportunity for the reversal of the consequences of dietary excess — a chance to let an overfed and overburdened body take steps to restore health.

Rest assured that the appeal of fasting is not based solely on mere intuition. With the recent publication of the first-ever large-scale study conducted on the use of water-only fasting with life-threatening illness, what was previously considered intuitive has become scientifically apparent. Water-only fasting offers extraordinary potential for health and healing, and for some conditions it appears to be the most effective treatment available.

Fasting and High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is the leading contributing cause of morbidity and mortality in industrialized societies, and is the leading reason for visits to doctors and for the use of prescription medication. It is diagnosed when a patient’s pressures exceed 140/90 mm Hg. The human and financial costs of this condition are staggering.

In 1984, doctors at the TrueNorth Health Center began to investigate the use of fasting in the treatment of this devastating condition. Our study involved 174 high blood pressure patients, all of whom were admitted to the Center for treatment involving water-only fasting.

The results of the study were astonishing. Every patient experienced blood pressure reductions sufficient to eliminate the need for medication, and over ninety percent of patients achieved completely normal blood pressure. A stunning reduction of over 60 points in systolic (upper) blood pressure was noted in those patients with highly elevated pressures (known as Stage III Hypertension), where systolic pressures are greater than 180 mm Hg. These results represent the largest effect size ever shown in lowering blood pressure, and they are estimated to be five times the effect expected from medications alone.

With assistance from our colleagues at Cornell University, our study, “Medically Supervised Water-only Fasting in the Treatment of Hypertension” was completed and accepted for publication by the peer-reviewed and indexed Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. It appeared in the June, 2001 issue of JMPT.

A second study, also conducted at the Center, was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. In this investigation, we evaluated the effect of water-only fasting on 64 patients admitted with so-called “borderline” hypertension. These are individuals who have systolic blood pressures between 120 and 140 mm Hg.

Patients with blood pressures in this range are often led to believe that their blood pressures are “normal.” For example, a patient with a systolic blood pressure of 138/88 would be considered “normal” by conventional medical standards, despite the fact that they are five times more likely to die from a heart attack or stroke than an individual who has a systolic blood pressure of 110 mm Hg. Sixty-eight percent of all deaths attributed to the effects of high blood pressure occur in individuals whose systolic blood pressure is in this range.

The patients in our second study had a mean reduction in systolic blood pressure of 20 mm Hg. The average patient in the study, beginning with a systolic blood pressure of nearly 130 mm Hg, ended his stay with systolic blood pressure of just below 109 mm Hg. This represents a very substantial improvement in health. As just stated, he is now five times less likely to die from a heart attack or stroke than he was before.

Fasting Studies Draw Attention

As a result of the publication of these studies, the fasting program at TrueNorth Health Center attracted the attention of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), a large, national labor union. In March 2001, the Center’s residential health education program, including the supervision of water-only fasting, became a fully covered medical benefit for all union members and spouses who have high blood pressure or diabetes.

In conjunction with this association with IUOE, the doctors at the Center are conducting a third fasting study. It is a prospective study with long-term follow-up to evaluate the use of fasting in the treatment of high blood pressure and diabetes. We are looking not only at the clinical outcomes of the patients (improved health and reduced morbidity), but also the effect on long-term costs of care for the patients who undergo fasting compared to those who choose conventional medical care.

The initial results are outstanding. Based on data from the first group of subjects with one-year follow-ups, the average cost reduction for fasting patients compared to patients receiving conventional medical care appears to be substantial. Once a large enough number of patients have completed the program and the long-term outcomes are calculated, we expect to publish additional papers documenting what appears to be a tremendously cost effective approach to managing these high risk, high medical cost, high blood pressure and diabetes patients.

Hope for the Future

Hopefully, these results of the TrueNorth Health Center’s studies will be a contributing force in both a philosophical and practical revolution in health care. With clear and convincing evidence to guide them, and substantial cost savings to motivate them, other unions and insurance companies may decide to encourage and support the use of fasting for those they serve. In doing so, they could make available to the millions of sick and suffering patients the most profound health rediscovery of our time — the understanding that fasting allows the body to heal itself without the risk and excess cost associated with conventional medical care and drug use.

Alan Goldhamer, D.C., is the director of the TrueNorth Health Center in Penngrove, California. Information on the Center’s Residential Health Education Program can be found at or by calling the Center at (707) 586-5555

Monday, December 15, 2008

Living partially baptized

Widows and widowers in the U.S. who say they give 10 percent or more of their income to the church: 17.6 percent

Non-widowed Americans who say they give 10 percent or more: 8.6 percent

Ted Olsen, "Go Figure," Christianity Today magazine (November 2008), p 18.

Are we really willing to live our life partially baptized? Why do we hold out on our obediences to the Lord? If the soul is so much more important than our wallets, why don't we surrender to a biblical stewardship model? Or is it that we simply don't believe that God intends good for us? That would explain why so many of us live a stilted and stunted Christian life.

The Christian life is about trust. Trusting God for blessing and to handle all the things that we cannot. There is no option.

Hebrews 11.6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

So why do we think there is an option to live a faithless Christian live?

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Hero of the Faith- Victor Plymire

Victor Plymire, was a pioneer missionary to China and Tibet. He went to that part of the world in 1908 and served 16 years before he won his first Tibetan convert. In his 19th year of missionary service, his only son, 6 years of age, and his wife died within one week of each other from smallpox. The local cemetery refused him burial permission, so he bought a small plot of land on a Tibetan hillside overlooking a valley outside of town. It was the middle of winter in that bitter-cold part of the world. He had only enough strength to dig one grave through the frozen ground for the two of them.

What was his and their reward for all of this?

Especially in the West, we live in a period of instant gratification. We expect immediate reward for labor rendered, service given and investment made. But the Bible talks about delayed reward. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:34,35).

There is no ecstasy for the saints in the treatment they receive at the hands of the world. They are not rewarded on earth with wealth and mansions, with luxury and leisure, with titles and accolades. Their reward is one deferred — until the coming of the Lord.

My Uncle Victor died without ever knowing what purpose the death of his wife and son filled in the economy of God. But about 65 years after that desolate moment on the Tibetan mountainside, and some 36 years after his death, God’s long-range purposes began to come into view.

In 1991 the church in Victor Plymire’s adopted town in China wanted to officially reopen. Permission was denied on the grounds the church had no proof the property purchased and buildings erected by my uncle had ever been used as a church. The officials, as did everyone else in the town, knew the true story. But games were being played with the pastor, the son of the martyred leader left in charge of the work when Victor Plymire left in 1949.

In desperation the Chinese pastor asked my missionary cousin, David Plymire, if any written evidence existed which could prove the buildings and property belonged to the church. David came back and searched the file of his father in Springfield, Mo. There he found a deed. But it was not the deed to the church property — no such legal instrument has ever been found. The deed was to the grave on the hillside.

For some reason known only to God, Victor Plymire had deeded that grave not in his own name, but the name of the church. When David Plymire returned to China and gave the deed to that pastor, the local authorities accepted it as incontrovertible evidence that the church had indeed existed. The property was returned, the buildings were repossessed, and the church was officially open again.

Had the town cemetery been available to Plymire, there would have been no deed for proof. In fact, years ago the town cemetery was leveled and apartments were built over it; but the Plymire grave still rests undisturbed on the edge of the sprawling town. God, who had not caused the deaths of Victor Plymire’s first wife and son, nevertheless intended to use that loss to anchor the church in that very town at the close of the century. Plymire died long before this twist in the story; but we now can see an earthly reward for this precious sacrifice.

There is an even greater day of reward coming. Someday the grave itself will open and the dead shall come forth. On that day Victor and Grace Plymire and their son John David are going to receive a reward from the hand of Jesus himself. That reward will eclipse all sorrow.

That hour will be one of vindication for the saints, when the unbelieving world is judged and God’s children receive their rewards.

“Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen” (Revelation 1:7).
(Written by George O Wood in the Pentecostal Evangel)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jon Stewart and Mike Huckabee on Gay Marriage

Too bad Jon felt the need to continually talk over his guest. Huckabee had a point to make but Stewart kept moving the goal post. Stewart is obviously is smart enough to locate those answers himself so we are left to assume he is either pandering to his audience or has a driving agenda of his own. If he wanted to know why gay marriage is objectionable to so many then he should take the discussion on the merits of the answers given, rather than interrupt his guest.

Marriage has always (not just within the Judeo-Christian tradition) been between a man and a woman. we are talking about from the moment of creation (or from the first day out of the evolutionary soup- if you are an evolutionist). While the interrelational dynamics have changed (ie., chattel to equal) that doesn't change the foundational elements of marriage (male and female). Marriage was and is primarily for child-rearing- hence, Stewarts argument for polygamy actually re-enforces the argument that homosexual relationships cannot be "marriage" per se. (Polygamy was specifically for the development of offspring in ancicent cultures.) To say that changing the fundamental elements of marriage is "evolution" of marriage is as silly as saying that Sodium Chloride (salt) can have one of the elements changed and still remain the same. It simply cannot.

His diatribe on which is more of a choice religion or homosexuality is cute... but without merit in that there has yet to be any evidence presented that demonstrates conclusively that homosexuality is genetic. But Jon won't be bothered with facts...We are left to Jon's observations from his vast experience with homosexuals in NY. The issue isn't one of choice but biology. I agree with Huckabee that homosexuals who choose to live that lifestyle should be afforded the protections of freedom guaranteed in the constitution. And I think that civil unions may be the best avenue for the homosexuals to achieve their equality. But there needn't be any redefining of the term marriage. After all, what else would we redefine to 'include' gays?

Same sex marriage destroyed the idea of marriage in Scandinavia. I remember reading that a study in Denmark showed that those gays legally married there had an average of 10 partners outside of their marriage each year. This kind of instability is more like Britney and Kevin than Stewart wants to admit.

In the end it is not "semantics" or definitions of marriage but biology that keep homosexuals from procreating. All the side stepping around the issue will not change that. Marriage isn't a right given by the government, it is a recognition of a biological coupling that is the foundation of a family that is determined by nature. A fact that won't be tampered with.

Christ died for all men. Redemption begins with a choice- choose to follow Jesus. For me it meant to stop thieving, sleeping around, and doing drugs and follow Him; for others it involves laying down their sinful life- no matter how 'natural' it feels. may God give you the grace to make the right choice.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Gay Marriage: Why Would It Affect Me?

At the risk of seeming intolerant (the ultimate "sin" in 21 century America) i thought that this synopsis of Dr. Dobson's article deserves a read, and this might provoke some thought.

Ten Arguments Against Same Sex Marriage

(This is a synopsis of the new book by Dr. James Dobson, Marriage Under Fire.)
Argument #1.
The implications for children in a world of decaying families are profound. A recent article in the Weekly Standard described how the advent of legally sanctioned gay unions in Scandinavian countries has already destroyed the institution of marriage, where half of today's children are born out of wedlock.

It is predicted now, based on demographic trends in this country, that more than half of the babies born in the 1990s will spend at least part of their childhood in single-parent homes.

Social scientists have been surprisingly consistent in warning against this fractured family. If it continues, almost every child will have several "moms" and "dads," perhaps six or eight "grandparents," and dozens of half-siblings. It will be a world where little boys and girls are shuffled from pillar to post in an ever-changing pattern of living arrangements-where huge numbers of them will be raised in foster-care homes or living on the street (as millions do in other countries all over the world today). Imagine an environment where nothing is stable and where people think primarily about themselves and their own self-preservation.

The apostle Paul described a similar society in Romans 1, which addressed the epidemic of homosexuality that was rampant in the ancient world and especially in Rome at that time. He wrote, "They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless" (v. 29-31, NIV).

It appears likely now that the demise of families will accelerate this type of decline dramatically, resulting in a chaotic culture that will be devastating to children.

Argument #2
The introduction of legalized gay marriages will lead inexorably to polygamy and other alternatives to one-man, one-woman unions.

In Utah, polygamist Tom Green, who claims five wives, is citing Lawrence v. Texas as the legal authority for his appeal. This past January, a Salt Lake City civil rights attorney filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of another couple wanting to engage in legal polygamy. Their justification? Lawrence v. Texas.

The ACLU of Utah has actually suggested that the state will "have to step up to prove that a polygamous relationship is detrimental to society"-as opposed to the polygamists having to prove that plural marriage is not harmful to the culture. Do you see how the game is played? Despite 5,000 years of history, the burden now rests on you and me to prove that polygamy is unhealthy. The ACLU went on to say that the nuclear family "may not be necessarily the best model." Indeed, Justice Antonin Scalia warned of this likelihood in his statement for the minority in the Lawrence case.10 It took less than six months for his prediction to become reality.

Why will gay marriage set the table for polygamy? Because there is no place to stop once that Rubicon has been crossed. Historically, the definition of marriage has rested on a bedrock of tradition, legal precedent, theology and the overwhelming support of the people.

After the introduction of marriage between homosexuals, however, it will be supported by nothing more substantial than the opinion of a single judge or by a black-robed panel of justices. After they have done their wretched work, the family will consist of little more than someone's interpretation of "rights."

Given that unstable legal climate, it is certain that some self-possessed judge, somewhere, will soon rule that three men and one woman can marry. Or five and two, or four and four. Who will be able to deny them that right? The guarantee is implied, we will be told, by the Constitution. Those who disagree will continue to be seen as hate-mongers and bigots. (Indeed, those charges are already being leveled against those of us who espouse biblical values!) How about group marriage, or marriage between relatives, or marriage between adults and children? How about marriage between a man and his donkey? Anything allegedly linked to "civil rights" will be doable. The legal underpinnings for marriage will have been destroyed.

Argument #3
An even greater objective of the homosexual movement is to end the state's compelling interest in marital relationships altogether. After marriages have been redefined, divorces will be obtained instantly, will not involve a court, and will take on the status of a driver's license or a hunting permit. With the family out of the way, all rights and privileges of marriage will accrue to gay and lesbian partners without the legal entanglements and commitments heretofore associated with it.

Argument #4
With the legalization of homosexual marriage, every public school in the nation will be required to teach that this perversion is the moral equivalent of traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Textbooks, even in conservative states, will have to depict man/man and woman/woman relationships, and stories written for children as young as elementary school, or even kindergarten, will have to give equal space to homosexuals.

Argument #5
From that point forward, courts will not be able to favor a traditional family involving one man and one woman over a homosexual couple in matters of adoption. Children will be placed in homes with parents representing only one sex on an equal basis with those having a mom and a dad. The prospect of fatherless and motherless children will not be considered in the evaluation of eligibility. It will be the law.

Argument #6
Foster-care parents will be required to undergo "sensitivity training" to rid themselves of bias in favor of traditional marriage, and will have to affirm homosexuality in children and teens.

Argument #7
How about the impact on Social Security if there are millions of new dependents that will be entitled to survivor benefits? It will amount to billions of dollars on an already overburdened system. And how about the cost to American businesses? Unproductive costs mean fewer jobs for those who need them. Are state and municipal governments to be required to raise taxes substantially to provide health insurance and other benefits to millions of new "spouses and other dependents"?

Argument #8
Marriage among homosexuals will spread throughout the world, just as pornography did after the Nixon Commission declared obscene material "beneficial" to mankind. Almost instantly, the English-speaking countries liberalized their laws against smut. America continues to be the fountainhead of filth and immorality, and its influence is global.

The point is that numerous leaders in other nations are watching to see how we will handle the issue of homosexuality and marriage. Only two countries in the world have authorized gay marriage to date-the Netherlands and Belgium. Canada is leaning in that direction, as are numerous European countries. Dr. Darrell Reid, president of Focus on the Family Canada, told me two weeks ago that his country is carefully monitoring the United States to see where it is going. If we take this step off a cliff, the family on every continent will splinter at an accelerated rate. Conversely, our U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that it looks to European and Canadian law in the interpretation of our Constitution. What an outrage! That should have been grounds for impeachment, but the Congress, as usual, remained passive and silent.

Argument #9
Perhaps most important, the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be severely curtailed. The family has been God's primary vehicle for evangelism since the beginning.

Its most important assignment has been the propagation of the human race and the handing down of the faith to our children. Malachi 2:15 reads, referring to husbands and wives, "Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth" (NIV).

That responsibility to teach the next generation will never recover from the loss of committed, God-fearing families. The younger generation and those yet to come will be deprived of the Good News, as has already occurred in France, Germany and other European countries. Instead of providing for a father and mother, the advent of homosexual marriage will create millions of motherless children and fatherless kids. This is morally wrong, and is condemned in Scripture. Are we now going to join the Netherlands and Belgium to become the third country in the history of the world to "normalize" and legalize behavior that has been prohibited by God himself? Heaven help us if we do!

Argument #10
The culture war will be over, and I fear, the world may soon become "as it was in the days of Noah" (Matthew 24:37, NIV). This is the climactic moment in the battle to preserve the family, and future generations hang in the balance.

This apocalyptic and pessimistic view of the institution of the family and its future will sound alarmist to many, but I think it will prove accurate unless-unless-God's people awaken and begin an even greater vigil of prayer for our nation. That's why Shirley and I are urgently seeking the Lord's favor and asking Him to hear the petitions of His people and heal our land.

As of this time, however, large segments of the church appear to be unaware of the danger; its leaders are surprisingly silent about our peril (although we are tremendously thankful for the efforts of those who have spoken out on this issue). The lawless abandon occurring recently in California, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Washington and elsewhere should have shocked us out of our lethargy. So far, I'm alarmed to say, the concern and outrage of the American people have not translated into action.

This reticence on behalf of Christians is deeply troubling. Marriage is a sacrament designed by God that serves as a metaphor for the relationship between Christ and His Church. Tampering with His plan for the family is immoral and wrong. To violate the Lord's expressed will for humankind, especially in regard to behavior that He has prohibited, is to court disaster.

What do you think?